Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap is set to assist the ADF by guiding and supporting the development of critical robotic technology.
Leaders in academia, industry and government across the Defence sector helped shape the Roadmap through submissions and workshops held in late 2017.
The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision created the Robotics Roadmap concept, collated submissions and co-ordinated a national roadshow across five Australian capital cities ahead of the roadmap's release.
“We are thrilled to officially present Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap,” COO Dr Sue Keay said.
“The Robotics Roadmap is a critical tool in strategically planning how we as a nation best invest in robotic technology to create and support a vibrant economy, community and nation.”
“Australia’s defence sector is world class. With the growth of the national Defence budget to two percent of Australia’s GDP by 2020-21, we are seeing more investment in the development of defence technology and there are significant opportunities in robotic technology.”
The roadmap highlights how robotic technology can strengthen ISR and enhance targeting capacity through greater access to strengthened analytical capability, enhanced support and space-based capabilities.
“Investment in new technology will enhance Australia’s ability to contribute to border protection with the introduction of more capable offshore patrol vessels, new manned and unmanned aircraft and a new large-hulled multi- purpose patrol vessel,' Keay said.
"These platforms have the potential to become robotic and autonomous, and to be augmented by off-platform robotic systems. Robotics can help strengthen and support Australia’s highly valued human workforce in Defence enabling more precise and persistent, wide-area operations in air, land, sea, subsurface, space and cyber domains.
“With Australia currently ranked 18th in the world for global automation by the International Federation of Robotics, it’s time we start understanding robots as everyday problem solvers rather than scientific fantasy. As a community, we need to build on Australia’s strengths in developing new robotic technologies to help the Defence sector become more agile and responsive.”
Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel emphasised the importance of the roadmap in unlocking Australia’s robotic potential.
“Robots and artificial intelligence are appearing in every industry sector, with huge practical impact on the way we live, work, and plan for the future. This roadmap shows just how quickly this field is moving, and the rewards available to a robot-ready Australia.”